Re: Time for a jump in quality?

Michael S. Lorrey (
Thu, 22 Apr 1999 02:42:19 -0400

Yak Wax wrote:
> Jeff Fabijanic wrote:
> > Btw, the MIT Media Lab Wednesday
> > Colloquium today ("The invisible computer:
> > Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal
> > Computer Is So Complex, and Information
> > Appliances Are the Solution") features Don
> > Norman - the author of "The Design of
> > Everyday Things," "Turn Signals Are the
> > Facial Expressions of Automobiles" and
> > "Things That Make Us Smart".
> "Why Good Products can fail"? Okay, a good idea might make a bad
> product but a "good product" is one that hasn't failed (to sell).

On the contrary. I invented an electroluminescent retrofit kit for exit signs, used 1/3 of a watt, and it lasts for 30 years at least, as well as emitting a nice even illumination across the entire face, making the letters of the sign very easy to read. We sold it for $65.00. We sold six or eight thousand of these puppies, then got clobbered by the big lighting companies that contracted Chinese manufacturers to make LED based kits which looked terrible, were not as efficient as ours, but were only half the price. My product won recognition as the most efficient and cost effective lighting product invented (according to the EPA's Green Lights Decision Support Software, 1995) and was written up in the Washington Post as well as industry mags. It was a great product. We got beaten in the market for reasons that had nothing to do with its greatness as a product.

Mike Lorrey